“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
We’ve all been there. The brain goes into slow mode, a fog descends, and we can’t seem to crank it up any more with our normal levers and tweaking. We’ve had enough…
Don’t think I’m referring to burnout here. As in my previous post discussing the times we just don’t feel like coaching, by homing in on the occasions we don’t even feel like thinking, I’m not including burnout. Burnout requires specific help and action that’s well beyond the scope of this blog, or of coaching itself. What I’m talking about is the kind of ‘slow processing’ the brain defaults to when we’ve just finished a project, or we’ve been firing on all cylinders for a while and need to call time out. In our usual busy ‘thinking and doing’ mode we may not recognise this, and we may start to berate ourselves or begin to worry something ‘serious’ is afoot.
How often do we fall into analysing what might be ‘wrong’, and examining ourselves for even more inadequacies than we know about already? Or look around for those nefarious culprits that we’re sure are ruining our health and lives – usually our bosses, colleagues, family members, the dripping tap that keeps us awake at night… anything that can explain this reluctant brain which appears to have gone on strike?
Have you ever stopped to think about the attitudes and assumptions you carry with you into coaching sessions?
Let’s face it, no coach can enter a coaching session completely free from his or her own ‘baggage’. We all bear the marks of our particular backgrounds, perspectives, education, relationship history and prejudices. We’ll never get rid of our ‘baggage’ and prejudices completely, and having them is a natural state of affairs. But is it one we as coaches should sit back and accept without question?
I’d say we shouldn’t just sit back and accept this state of affairs. Why? Because if we are unaware that we carry around with us prejudices and ‘baggage’, or if we refuse to admit this is the case, those prejudices and ‘baggage’ will come back to bite us in coaching sessions, potentially damaging the quality of the service we can offer our coachees. Those prejudices and ‘baggage’ will get in the way of our ability to offer the kind of non-judgemental individually-tailored coaching our clients have every right to expect.